It was a beautiful fall day in Connecticut when Colleen Alexander, a lifelong competitive athlete, rode her bike home from work, having just learned her job with the nonprofit PeaceJam was secure. She had survived a diagnosis of lupus and brain surgery that almost took her life, and was married at last to the love of her life, Sean. Life was good as she met the eyes of a truck driver rolling up to the stop sign beside her.
He didn't stop.
The truck hit Colleen, running over her lower body with front and back tires and dragging her across the pavement. As she bled out in the street, nearby stranger surrounded her and the driver attempted to get away. An EMT herself, Colleen knew she had to stay awake. "I've just been reconnected with my soulmate," she told the medic. "We want to have a baby. I can't die now. Please don't let me die." Colleen spent five weeks in a coma and had 29 surgeries. But she survived, and despite losing her job and suffering from PTSD, she began to focus on all the heroes who saved her life. Determined to find a way to make something positive from her pain, she decided she'd run again. She would dedicate her race medals to the everyday heroes around us, including the medical staff and the 156 blood donors who saved her life.
Since the accident Colleen has run 50 races and completed 40 triathalons, including 4 half-Ironman events (1.2-mile swim, 56-mile bike ride, 13.1-mile run). She is now a spokesperson for the Red Cross, and shares her incredible inspirational story to encourage others to take that first step forward.
Publisher: Little, Brown & Company
Number of pages: 288
Weight: 496 g
Dimensions: 240 x 164 x 28 mm
Colleen is a personal inspiration of mine. Her guts, grit and determination alone are enough to embolden anyone who hears her speak. But it is Colleen's great humanity and humility in the face of her challenges that should inspire us all.--Jody Williams, Nobel Peace Prize laureate
"I always said running is the ultimate faith healer, restoring belief not only in oneself but life's possibilities. Colleen brought that message to life and had me thinking of my own possibilities. Colleen's message isn't about how far we can run but how much we can endure just to be part of the running community."--Bart Yasso, Retired Chief Running Officer of Runner's World
Colleen Kelly Alexander is a living embodiment of resiliency, grace, and gratitude--even in the face of some of the most difficult circumstances imaginable. Read this remarkable memoir. It will lift up your heart with thankfulness and inspiration, just as Colleen has inspired countless everyday heroes who strive to make this world a better place.--Gail McGovern, President and CEO, American Red Cross